British lightweight, Jai Herbert has signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC ahead of his upcoming July clash in London.
Having gone 1-3 in his first four fights, there is little doubt that the UFC clearly see his potential. Few have had a tougher start to life in the UFC than Birmingham’s own, Jai Herbert. ‘The Black Country Banger’ faced Francisco Trinaldo in his debut. You’ll remember this for the infamous Dan Hardy and Herb Dean incident. He then faced Renato Moicano, again in a losing effort.
Herbert was able to record his first UFC victory when he battered Khama Worthy to a first-round TKO victory. This fight really showed his striking skills and showed why he deserves his place in the promotion. He was scheduled to face Mike Davis in London in March, however, Davis had to withdraw from the bout. Davis was replaced with Ilia Topuria and the fight went ahead.
Herbert dominated the first round, outlanding his opponent 47-23 as well as dropping Topuria. Speaking to James Lynch, Herbert admitted that he did make a mistake and play into his opponents’ skills in his London fight, leading to a brutal second-round knockout loss. Herbert is back, however, fuelled by his new four-fight deal to face Kyle Nelson at UFC London in July.
Jai Herbert's first four UFC opponents:
What did he do to the matchmakers?! #UFCLondon
— Andy Stevenson (@andyste123) March 16, 2022
UFC London Clash with Nelson
Jai Herbert will make his fifth UFC walk in the O2 arena in his home country of London on July 23rd. Speaking to James Lynch, Herbert stated that he’s ‘looking to get the three rounds in this time. Three clinical rounds, picking him apart, that’s what I’m looking to do, that’s what I’m going to do’. Herbert has only once seen the third round in the UFC, in his debut. He’s finished 10 of his 11 wins inside the distance throughout his professional MMA career.
Expect him to be well prepared, however, as Herbert is training alongside Leon Edwards ahead of Edwards’ title fight against Kamaru Usman next month.
Standing across from Herbert will be 13-4, Kyle Nelson. Nelson has been out for a little while, having not competed since September 2020 in a losing effort to Billy Quarantillo. He will also be stepping up to lightweight for the first time since his UFC debut.
Interestingly, both men have identical UFC records having suffered a KO/TKO loss in their debut, a submission loss in their second UFC fight before bouncing back with a KO victory in their third UFC fight and then suffering another KO loss.
Whoever comes out on top of this one positions themselves nicely in a stacked lightweight division with many contenders looking to break the top 15.
UFC London will be headlined by in-form British heavyweight, Tom Aspinall, who will be facing the toughest test of his career when he clashes with Curtis Blaydes. Aspinall headlined the O2 arena in March in a dominant fashion against Alexander Volkov, extending his winning run to eight, of which five have been in the UFC and all have been via finish.
Blaydes is looking to extend his winning run to three having knocked out Chris Daukaus in March and dominated Jairzinho Rozenstruik in September of last year. He’s won 10 of his last 12 bouts and is seen as one of the most dangerous men in the division.
One man who won’t be at UFC London, in a fighting capacity at least is Darren Till. We announced that Till has had to withdraw from the card with an injury and is going to be replaced by Chris Curtis to face Jack Hermansson.
Fan favourites PaddyPimblett, Molly McCann and Paul Craig feature, as well as the up-and-coming Muhammad Mokaev all return to London. Nathaniel Wood will make his featherweight debut and three-time title challenger, Alexander Gustaffson will return after two years away from the sport.